© 2019

Accountability Policies in Education

A Comparative and Multilevel Analysis in France and Quebec

  • Christian Maroy
  • Xavier Pons
  • Focuses on soft accountability mechanisms in two countries understudied in the literature

  • Is an original comparative and multilevel field-study in various territories

  • Presents an innovative way of thinking about education policies by mixing North-American and European perspectives


Part of the Educational Governance Research book series (EGTU, volume 11)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Christian Maroy, Xavier Pons
    Pages 1-12
  3. Christian Maroy, Xavier Pons, Samuel Vaillancourt
    Pages 13-52
  4. Christian Maroy, Xavier Pons
    Pages 53-94
  5. Xavier Pons, Samuel Vaillancourt, Christian Maroy
    Pages 95-113
  6. Christian Maroy, Xavier Pons, Claire Dupuy
    Pages 115-150
  7. Christian Maroy, Claire Dupuy, André Brassard, Hélène Buisson-Fenet, Cécile Mathou, Xavier Pons et al.
    Pages 151-183
  8. Hélène Buisson-Fenet, Christian Maroy, Samuel Vaillancourt, Annabelle Allouch
    Pages 185-213
  9. Christian Maroy, Xavier Pons
    Pages 215-229

About this book


This book addresses current changes of education policies in a context of globalisation. It does so by focusing on the implementation of performance-based accountability policies in France and in Quebec (Canada). It questions the trajectory of these policies, their mediations and their instrumentation in various territories and schools through a theoretical framework which combines a North American neo-institutionalist approach with the perspective of the French sociologie de l’action publique. The book extends the current international literature on English-speaking experiences of hard accountability to research on “soft” accountability policies and proposes a deep investigation in two highly contrasted education systems. This investigation is multilevel and has led to field research both in schools, in intermediate authorities, and in central administrations for three years. The research presented in the book addresses the international literature on accountability in public administration and in education, the current transformations of governance in education, as well as the forms taken by the globalisation of education policies in countries differently exposed to international influences. The comparison highlights a convergent neo-statist trajectory of the performance-based accountability policy in the two countries, various forms of governance by results enacted at the local and meso level, and more intense impacts of these policies on schools and teacher’s practices in Quebec than in France.  



France Quebec comparison French Policy analysis educational change educational policy educational governance (Neo-statist) (Soft) Accountability (Vernacular) Globalisation Neoinstitutionalism policy assemblage policy trajectory policy mediation result-based management

Editors and affiliations

  • Christian Maroy
    • 1
  • Xavier Pons
    • 2
  1. 1.University of MontrealMontrealCanada
  2. 2.University of Eastern-Paris CreteilParisFrance

Bibliographic information


“Accountability policies have generated a passionate debate in education, but research on "soft-accountability" models is still scarce. Maroy and Pons contribute to fill this gap by masterly conducting a comparative and multi-level study on recent accountability developments in France and Quebec. Their book is unique in analysing with a high level of empirical detail and theoretical precision how soft-accountability models emerge, evolve and operate ‘on the ground’, and how and to what extent accountability instruments are transforming teachers’ work and, more broadly, the governance of education systems.” (Antoni Verger, Department of Sociology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain)